classical music

Lia Uribe, an associate professor in the University of Arkansas Music Department, says it's a busy week for music on campus. Highlights include new music performed by the University Symphony Orchestra and a concert featuring a solo clarinetist.

Courtesy / Kat Wilson

We’re launching a new segment this week that focuses on classical musical performances in our listening area. Lia Uribe, an associate professor in the University of Arkansas music department, is curating these segments, which will highlight the diversity of offerings in the region, as well as explore the intersectionality of music and art. We recently sat down with Lia to learn more about her career and the influence music has had on her life.

Violinist Itamar Zorman navigated exotic Israeli scales and modes to release his newest album “Evocation,” which highlights distinctive works by German-born Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim.

“There is a really delicate but wonderful balance between the emotional content and the technical form of the piece, and the analytical part of it,” Zorman explains about reflecting Ben-Haim’s multi-cultural influenced compositions.

The possibilities of artistic expression are limitless with every piece of music, but composer and pianist Craig Swanson took it to another level with the release of his album “The French Suite Kit.”

Swanson was inspired by pianist Glenn Gould to create multiple unique variations of Bach’s French Suite No. 4 in Eb Major, giving listeners more control over how they prefer to hear Bach expressed.

The Fort Smith Symphony’s upcoming season promises film scores and more, but it’s not your average John Williams programming. Music Director John Jeter picked film scores of Hans Zimmer and Bernard Herrmann to take center stage.

“Now, there is a whole series of composers who have kind of taken over that mantel, and we wanted to kind of celebrate that different approach to film scoring,” Jeter says.

The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas’ upcoming season promises to be their best yet, honoring Beethoven’s 250th birthday with “bucket list pieces” such as “Carmina Burana” and “Pictures at an Exhibition.”  Paul Hass, SoNA's music director, credits the orchestra’s success to its familial atmosphere.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of something like this that’s constantly growing,” Haas says. “It really is like a family—we all care about each other. This is something special; not every community has this.”

Voces8 has once again found a way to represent the world's magnificence by using their voices-- and nothing else. The a capella group's latest album, "Enchanted Isle," pays homage to some of the members' inspirational European homelands.

"Many of my formative musical memories come from my town there," says Barnaby Smith, the ensemble's music director. "A lot of the first music I heard as a child came as I was looking at that vista."

Listen to the full interview between Barnaby Smith and Of Note's Katy Henriksen with the streaming link above.

Live music takes to the streets with “Live at the Five and Dime,” a series of intimate sidewalk concerts presented by the University of Arkansas Music Departmenton the downtown Bentonville Square.

“It’s a really great opportunity to infringe on people’s environment. That’s honestly where [music] belongs,” upright bassist Garrett Jones says about incorporating passers-by. “Art’s all around you on a day-to-day basis. Music is up the same alley.”


A new recording from Philippe Quint and Marta Aznavoorian proves Charlie Chaplin is as relevant today as he was in his heyday. His legacy in visionary musical genius continues to be celebrated with "Chaplin's Smile," a collection of Chaplin's songs arranged for violin and piano.

Hojoon Kim

Composer Reiko Futing redefines contemporary composition with the incorporation of early music. In Futing's newest international portrait album "distantSong," he draws on music of the past to reflect on the art and culture of today.

Futing was inspired by a professor at the Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden to incorporate early music into his own compositions. Futing says this led him to produce a subtle, yet noticeable, marriage of past and present musical languages for something completely new, yet familiar.